To define the optimal dose of Polyphenon E for chronic daily administration and tolerability in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL).
Patients and Methods
Previously untreated patients with asymptomatic Rai stage 0 to II CLL were eligible for participation. Polyphenon E with a standardized dose of epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) was administered using the standard phase I design with three to six patients per dose level (range, 400 to 2,000 mg by mouth twice a day). Trough plasma EGCG levels were measured 1 month after initiation of therapy. Response was classified using the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Working Group (WG) Criteria.
Thirty-three eligible patients were accrued to dose levels 1 to 8. The maximum-tolerated dose was not reached. The most common adverse effects included transaminitis (33%, all grade 1), abdominal pain (30% grade 1, 0% grade 2, and 3% grade 3), and nausea (39% grade 1 and 9% grade 2). One patient experienced an NCI WG partial remission. Other signs of clinical activity were also observed, with 11 patients (33%) having a sustained ≥ 20% reduction in absolute lymphocyte count (ALC) and 11 (92%) of 12 patients with palpable adenopathy experiencing at least a 50% reduction in the sum of the products of all nodal areas during treatment. Trough plasma EGCG levels after 1 month of treatment ranged from 2.9 to 3,974 ng/mL (median, 40.4 ng/mL).
Daily oral EGCG in the Polyphenon E preparation was well tolerated by CLL patients in this phase I trial. Declines in ALC and/or lymphadenopathy were observed in the majority of patients. A phase II trial to evaluate efficacy using 2,000 mg twice a day began in November 2007.